May 16, 2023
During a virtual statewide discussion today, Altarum and the Citizens Research Council of Michigan released the first two papers in a five-part series entitled Michigan’s Path to a Prosperous Future: Challenges and Opportunities.
The Research Council and Altarum joined forces to release a realistic, data-informed vision of Michigan’s future based on current trends and trajectories across multiple dimensions: demographic, economic, workforce, infrastructure, environment, and public services.
Today’s release focused on 1) Population and Demographics and 2) Economy, Workforce and Talent, and can be found on the Citizens Research Council of Michigan website. The three remaining papers will be released over the course of the summer.
The research shows that Michigan has been losing ground over the past five decades. Michigan has fallen behind other states in population growth, jobs, earnings, health, educational achievement, and the quality of public services at the state and local levels. Too few interstate immigrants target Michigan as a destination, international immigration has fallen, and too many young Michigan residents are leaving.
Absent policy changes and investments, data show that Michigan’s current path will lead to a shrinking population and continuing declines in the state’s competitiveness and quality of life.
The research shows that, despite these sobering statistics, there is real opportunity to alter this path with policies that retain young residents and attract domestic and international immigrants to Michigan. Today’s state and local political, business, community, and foundation leaders can restore Michigan’s economic engine and destination status through sustained and coordinated investments in the state and its people.
“As today’s research shows, to grow Michigan’s economy at a faster pace, there must be job opportunities and Michigan must be an attractive market to keep young residents from moving away and to attract people to the state,” said Eric Lupher, president of the Citizens Research Council.
The series was funded by Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, Michigan Health Endowment Fund, The Joyce Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, and the Ballmer Group.
Highlights from the first paper includes:
Altarum's Ani Turner added, “Michigan’s population and demographic challenges are significant but not unsurmountable.” Turner specifically outlined three broad and overlapping goals to address the challenges:
Michigan’s economy, workforce, and talent contributed to stagnant growth and felt the effects of it. Michigan’s tie to the manufacturing sector and the severe consequences of past recessions have hindered growth. Highlights from the second paper includes:
Lupher outlined additional public policy initiatives that could change this trajectory, including:
Altarum, Citizens Research Council and Bridge Michigan hosted the event, moderated by Bridge. It included a panel discussion which took questions from the public. Guest panelists were Amber Arellano, executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest, Frank Ettawageshik, executive director of the United Tribes of Michigan, Gabe Rodriguez-Garriga, vice president for strategy at Business Leaders for Michigan, Jalonne L. White-Newsome, senior director for environmental justice for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
Stay on top of future research as it is released over the next several months by bookmarking: www.crcmich.org/publications/prosperous-future.